As of Oct. 28, 2012, every observation from the extrasolar planet survey made by Kepler since its launch in 2009 through June 27, 2012, is available to scientists and the public.
This treasure-trove contains more than 16 terabytes of data and is housed at the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes, or MAST, at the Space Telescope Science Institute. MAST is a huge data archive containing astronomical observations from 16 NASA space astronomy missions, including the Hubble Space Telescope. It is named in honor of Maryland U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski.
Over the past three years the Kepler science team has discovered 77 confirmed planets and 2,321 planet candidates. All of Kepler's upcoming observations will be no longer exclusive to the Kepler science team, its guest observers, and its asteroseismology consortium members and will be available immediately to the public.
The objects already discovered may only be the tip of the iceberg. The data store contains clues to the existence of as yet undiscovered planets and a record of stellar behavior of stars near the Sun.
Since its launch, the Kepler spacecraft has stared almost nonstop at more than 150,000 stars in the direction of the summer constellations Cygnus and Lyra. The Kepler mission is operated by NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif.The spacecraft simultaneously measures the variations in brightness of the stars every 30 minutes, searching for periodic dips in a star's brightness that occur when an orbiting planet crosses in front of it and partially blocks the light from its parent star.
There is far more data in the Kepler archives than astronomers have time to analyze quickly. Avid volunteer astronomers are invited to make Kepler discoveries by perusing the archive through a website called "Planet Hunters," (http://www.planethunters.org/). A tutorial informs citizen scientists how to analyze the Kepler data, so they may assist with the research. Visitors to the website cannot actually see individual planets. Instead, they look for the effects of planets as they sweep across the face of their parent stars. Volunteer scientists have analyzed over 14 million observations so far. Just last week citizen scientists announced the discovery of the first planet to be found in a quadruple-star system.
NASA has extended the Kepler mission for at least another two years beyond its original three-year charter. Buried in the data from these upcoming observations are undoubtedly many more planets, some no larger than Earth. The Kepler survey ultimately will tell astronomers how common Earth-sized planets are in the Milky Way. Some fraction of these worlds may have conditions suitable for the origin of complex life. This will guide the design of future space telescopes capable of detecting the biosignatures of life on alien worlds.
For more information about the Kepler Mission and retrieving data from MAST, visit:http://hubblesite.org/news/2012/46
Ray Villard | Newswise Science News
Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation
19.01.2018 | Carnegie Institution for Science
Artificial agent designs quantum experiments
19.01.2018 | Universität Innsbruck
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy